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BattleJewels

Frequently Asked Questions

1. (Palm OS) Setting a hotsync ID, without ever syncing? Treo owners take note!
2. (Palm OS) How much memory do I need to run BattleJewels?
3. (General) I've registered the game, but it wants to be registered again? Or, I've bought a new device or changed my computer and the game wants to be registered again?
4. (Palm OS) Do I need a memory card to play BattleJewels?
5. (Palm OS) What devices were tested on?
6. (General) True story .. the game was developed in the wee hours?
7. (General) Whats the history of BattleJewels? It looks like a few match-3 games? What other influences did it have?
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1. (Palm OS) Setting a hotsync ID, without ever syncing? Treo owners take note!

A Hotsync ID is the 'name' given to your device; most people usually name their device during their first Hotsync (usually your own name, but any word will do.) It is increasingly common for folks to never hotsync and instead just back up data onto flash memory. With Treos and other wireless gadgets, you can move data around just fine without ever hitting the hotsync button. But if you never sync once.. how do you set your Hotsync ID so you can buy something? Theres a freeware tool over here that can do it, for one. There are other tools. Not supported by Codejedi, I just stumbled across it.


2. (Palm OS) How much memory do I need to run BattleJewels?

BJ keeps most of its storage on your memory card (SD, etc), but you need to keep a few megabytes of storage RAM available for it to cache some runtime data within. All told -- keep a couple of MB free in storage-RAM and a couple of MB free on your memory card and you should be fine. If you're having unlikely reset problems when you run the game, it is likely you've got some tools eating up all your device's runtime RAM.. try doing a pinhole (completely safe!) reset ebfore firing up the game, just to see if that solves the resets.


3. (General) I've registered the game, but it wants to be registered again? Or, I've bought a new device or changed my computer and the game wants to be registered again?

BattleJewels is unlocked by entering a series of symbols into the register screen; those symbols are keyed to your device or computer somehow and that somehow can be altered once in awhile through various means; it shouldn't be very common, but in a handheld example -- if you buy a new handheld for instance - it happens! Fear not, you can just head over to this online tool to get a new unlock code for yourself: Tool


4. (Palm OS) Do I need a memory card to play BattleJewels?

As of version 1.0 you do; the game requires a fair amount of storage for all the artwork and sound effects and so on, so we've currently opted for the installer to unpack its files onto your SD card, memory stick, CF card, and whathaveyou. (Zodiac owners who have virtual memory cards are fine, too.) To install the game you just copy the files to device RAM using hotsync (or whatever) and on first run, it will unpack into the SD card (for example) and then remove the temporary installation file.


5. (Palm OS) What devices were tested on?

Closed alpha and beta were run for many months so the same should be highly compatible across a wide range of devices. That said, the many testers only had so many different gadgets, and do we've not yet tried it on every possible configuration. At least, off the top of my head, it is known to work on: Treo 650, Treo 700p, Tungsten X, Tungsten T|3, Tungsten E|3, Treo 755, LifeDrive, Sony UX50, Zire 72, Zire 71* and Tapwave Zodiac 1 and 2. For Zire 71 and other 'lower memory' devices you may need a memory expander tool (use at your own risk!) such as UDMH (shareware) or More Heap Hack (freeware).


6. (General) True story .. the game was developed in the wee hours?

Yeppers; we had a baby, and most of the game was developed during the hours of 3am and 5am. It is amazing how much you can pull off while sleep deprived :)


7. (General) Whats the history of BattleJewels? It looks like a few match-3 games? What other influences did it have?

Let me meander off the cuff a little here if you will. BJ actually started out as, of all things, a card game called BattleCards (a little inspired by Magic: The Gathering that I played a decade or more ago in college - keeners might consider the BattleJewels spell system and see the inspiration! Of course as an avid desktop RPG player from way back I take queues from Wizardry 7 .. hence the "Thrust" and "Lunge" spells :)

After some development down that road I switched gears to a more accessible match-3 puzzle game approach (inspired by the likes of Dr. Mario and Stargate (an old Game Gear game)) - when the birth date for the baby started approaching I realized time would be much tighter and the complex AI and monster-movement logic was really consuming too much effort. I also found the card game combo system might be too much for the on-the-go mobile gamer. So going back probably to late 2006 (guessing.. my sense of time is shot now due to the sleep dep!) the game was shaping to be a puzzle spell casting game. For awhile the playfield wasn't even square .. I experimented with overlapping diamonds and 3 tier stacked playfields and others but found the added strategy of constriction points really just slowed things down and proved less fun overall. Game design is surprisingly hard, so I was throwing ideas at the game to see what felt like it had to stay or had to go really .. not the best approach, but for awhile it was a fun way to attack the problem. BattleJewels was going to be a game written for myself, so I was winging it.

After the baby was born and I was up all night surviving on cola and retro gaming I was fiddling with Master of Magic (an old fantasy themed Civilization and RPG PC game) which I generally site as another inspiration. That really reminded me in my sleep deprived haze how much I missed stats management and level-grinding. (After playing World of Warcraft online, I'd rather had the level grind beaten out of me. I'm sure a lot of gamers are sick of that sort of system now..)

Bear in mind that BattleJewels was designed for on the go mobile gaming - eventually touchscreen devices as everyone knows I'm a PDA nerd and obscure handheld console supporter. This means always applying the razor -- all my applications are cross platform, lean and yet customizable. I want the essence of the game I'd been designing .. so while I site many references and inspirations, I did not want to fall into the trap of going too far -- no tech tree a la Civilization and Master of Magic; no serious designed-in spell combinations a la Magic: The Gathering. But I do want the essence that makes the game I'm trying to design come alight -- keep it fast, but keep it detailed just enough. Puzzle game.. check! You can play this in the light at the supermarket or waiting for the bus. RPG -- you can refine your character skills and spells, but without the fuss of grinding them up overly much. Streetfighter -- no walking to each battle, just have them. No questing or grinding per se or the like .. we want to cut to the chase and get into battles with BattleJewels.

Down the road maybe multiplayer will be added as the game would really shine here; but for now being single player, I can afford to reduce the repetition -- you collect gold in the game with which to buy gear, but in the end .. lets try to keep prices reasonable so you can get gear into your character's hands, rather than window shopping like a pauper. Spells you can get almost every level and can even increase this rate using a few tricks. Matches are designed to not be too long, and even as you level up your abilities should scale nearly as fast as opponent strength to keep things sensible. And after playing Morrowind and Oblivion (which I adore), you'll be pleased to note.. no jumping around everywhere you go just to level a skill. Its all quick, refined, and ready to play.

I hope you like it. I've worked hard designing this game. It has a few worts, like any new title, designed almost entirely at 3am after coaxing a baby to sleep ;)


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